A longtime friend once said to me, “Weren’t you the one who said that if you weren’t a Liberal in your 20’s, you had no heart, but if you weren’t a Conservative in your 30’s you had no head” ?
Yes, I was the one. But in my 30’s it was the 80’s and greed was good and the Republican Party hadn’t yet made its sharp right turn and was where the Democrats are now. Those good old days made me forget the real good old days of protests and great music.
Ironically it was the election of JFK in 1960 that sparked a movement toward coalescence of Evangelicals and Catholics into what we now interchangeably call the Religious Right or Christian Right, their meanings not quite identical. Unable to defeat the Catholic candidate (JFK), Evangelicals soon began working with Catholics to forward “Christian values” in American culture. By 1980 they were a political force.
What is most overlooked in the 1st Amendment is the Establishment Clause, which prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion or giving preference to one religion over another. Opponents to things like abortion and gay marriage – weird how they’re always opposed to something other people want to do – openly base their opposition on religious beliefs, citing biblical chapter and verse, Old and New.
In July, 42 U.S. servicemen (and women) died in Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban. It may be unclear why they are the face of terrorism, but it is clear that they want to enslave their countrymen under the tyranny of Sharia law. Here in the states we hear warnings of Muslims trying to inject Sharia into our culture, even in the complete absence of any evidence of same. How, then can we tolerate ANYONE trying to impose their religious beliefs on us? How has our Congress become a conduit of religous fervor, seemingly with no other purpose?
Even as they proclaim, “Jobs, jobs, jobs” their focus has been an appeasement of religious zealots to the detriment of all women. This is not your father’s GOP. While I share many values of the old Grand Old Party, the very first sentence in the Bill of Rights means too much to me to ever overlook it being overlooked.
I suppose I would label myself an Independent. I share values with both parties, some Libertarian views thrown in for good measure. If we can’t find a middle ground where we can share ideas instead of battling ideologies, we will be swept away by the extremists. The Teabaggers. The American Taliban.
Stay calm and don’t panic!